The Post-2015 Consensus brought together, renowned experts from the UN, NGO and private sectors with 60 teams of economists to produced 100+ research papers to establish the most effective targets for the post-2015 development agenda within 22 core issue areas.
Through the Post-2015 Consensus project we have released more than 100 publications across a wide range of research topics, from air pollution to energy to gender equality. These publication were authored by 100+ renowned economists and experts from NGOs, businesses and UN agencies. In total we have provided you specific information on the social, environmental and economic costs and benefits of 107 targets for the next development agenda. The following pins will take you to every paper.
Bjorn Larsen, economic consultant, provides a comprehensive analysis of the costs and benefits of various indoor and outdoor air pollution targets. Drawing on recent scientific evidence, he proposes that inexpensive, improved biomass and coal cook-stoves can only go so far in reducing the burden of air pollution. This is because these stoves, often fitted with a chimney or vent to blow smoke outdoors, contribute to increased community air pollution.
Mike Holland, independent consultant, assesses the outdoor pollution component of the assessment paper, and provides numerous additional considerations that should inform policy makers such as the gaps in our scientific understanding and the difficulty of knowing which specific pollutants to prioritize in particle reductions.
Marc Jeuland, Assistant Professor at Duke University, notes that behavioral considerations are absent from the assessment paper, and explores how this might affect interpretation of the analysis. Specifically, households may for reasons such as heating, taste or culture, prefer traditional stoves. Additionally, even if a family owns an improved stove, it may not use it all the time. This suggests that additional costs are likely to arise in the transition to clean cooking.
Katharina M. K. Stepping, Researcher at the German Development Institute commends Bjorn Larsen’s air pollution assessment paper for providing helpful and informative information in regard to the benefits and costs of pursing both indoor and outdoor pollution targets within the post-2015 development agenda.
The viewpoint of Clean Air Asia commends Larsen’s assessment paper and the conclusion about the importance of tackling indoor pollution, but notes that the analysis assesses only a limited set of measures to combat ambient air pollution. Moreover a simple cost-benefit analysis may not present a holistic picture
Anil Markandya, Scientific Director at the Basque Center for Climate Change, breaks new ground by providing a cost-benefit analysis of four targets from the Aichi Convention on Biological Diversity. Markandya argues that reducing losses to coral reefs and forests by 50%, has the largest benefits relative to costs with returns between $30-$100+ per dollar spent.
Luke Brander, an environmental economist, critically assesses the methodology of the assessment paper, in particular noting that the values used by Markandya are unlikely to hold over the entire biome. Reestimating the cost-benefit ratios using a method that takes into account variations in the environment...
Alistair McVittie, environmental economist at SRUC, also questions one aspect of the cost-benefit methodology provided in the assessment paper, noting that marginal costs are unlikely to hold for global analyses. Using the same adjustment as Brander, which accounts for the size of the environment and the proximity to human settlements, McVittie estimates the cost-benefit ratio for halting forest loss.
The viewpoint of Dilys Roe, Biodiversity Team Leader and Simon Milledge, Forest Team Lead both at IIED, commends the assessment paper as an interesting analysis of the Aichi Targets. However, Roe and Milledge find that the paper suffers two key weaknesses: (1) the post-2015 deliberations have moved passed the Aichi Targets and (2) analysis of individual targets is insufficient mechanism for determining priorities in a sustainable development framework...
Isabel Galiana, Lecturer at McGill University assesses the costs and benefits of several climate change targets. She argues that the failure of the international community to implement and achieve emission reduction targets is not through lack of political will, but rather because current technology is not advanced enough to provide reliable, cheap energy for the needs of modern society.
Carolyn Fischer, Senior Fellow at Resources for the Future, agrees with Galiana that there should be greater focus on investment in energy RD&D. However, she also stresses the need to price carbon to better align social costs of fossil fuels with their market prices. This would be a better way to encourage innovation and activities required to reduce emissions...
Robert Mendelsohn, Professor of Economics, and Professor of Forest Policy, at Yale argues that the UN’s current target of 2°C represents an unnecessarily demanding and costly mitigation target, that encourages nations to delay action to combat climate change. Instead, he argues a better strategy would be to commit to a less stringent but achievable target that would prevent the worst climate change damage, while at the same time invest in adaptation strategies.
The viewpoint of ForumCC applauds the assessment paper by Isabel Galiana for providing strong evidence-based arguments, especially on climate change mitigation. However, ForumCC points out a number of weaknesses within the argument. A better inclusion of issues such as adaptation, climate finance and loss and damage, which are very important especially to developing countries, could strengthen the analysis.
The viewpoint paper by Lucy Scott, Research Officer at the Overseas Development Institute gives a brief background of how the UN has addressed climate change in the past. Contending that a focus should be adapted to how exactly climate change can be incorporated into international development. Scott highlights three areas of targets which could better incorporate climate change into the post-2015 development agenda that could be particularly beneficial for developing governments.